This is a new feature within the company’s PreForm software, allowing users to convert intraoral scans into 3D printable models directly in the software.

The 3D printing company Formlabs announced the release of Scan to Model, a new feature in its PreForm software that is designed to convert intraoral scans into 3D printable models. As the company puts it, orthodontic professionals can use Scan to Model as an entry point into digital workflows without having prior experience with digital dental design software. 

According to the company, creating diagnostic, formed appliance and fit check models, users scan a patient’s teeth with a 3D intraoral scanner, upload the raw model into PreForm’s Scan to Model tool, and then print with a Formlabs Form 3B printer. The whole process reportedly is completed in less than 1 hour. 

“Getting started in digital dentistry couldn’t be easier with the Formlabs Dental Ecosystem,” said Sam Wainwright, dental products manager at Formlabs. “The Scan to Model software feature does all the work, converting intraoral 3D scan files into printable dental models so it’s simple for providers to bring digital model production in-house. This new software feature, our printers, and dental resins of the Formlabs Dental Ecosystem support dentistry’s transformation enabling both newcomers and experienced professionals to add digital workflows.”

According to the company, before Scan to Model, technicians that completed 3D scans of patients’ teeth using an intraoral scanner would have to be well-versed in complex dental CAD software, use open-source mesh editors not designed for the needs of dental professionals, or outsource this processing to a dental lab. Now, Scan to Model reportedly enables orthodontists to reduce the effort required to turn a 3D intraoral scan into a printed model; overall turnaround time for models and retainers, enabling same-day delivery; and the number of software programs required to perform simple model preparation.

“Scan to Model is more advanced than an open-source mesh editor and faster than going through a comprehensive dental design program. My staff and I started using it immediately with no issues. It’s a great entry point for doctors who are interested in digital,” said James E. Paschal, DMD, MS, a Formlabs Dental customer.